13 Dec Faith-Based Recovery Programs: Leading The Solution To The Opioid Crisis
The opioid crisis has reached alarming proportions in the United States. According to the CDC, 66 % of all overdose-related deaths are caused by opioid use. More alarmingly, prescription opioid abuse accounts for almost $30 billion in healthcare costs each year. So, what is the solution to the opioid crisis? Below, we examine the role faith-based programs play in healing and recovery.
What is an Opioid?
An opioid is any substance or drug that binds to the opioid receptors in the brain. It produces distinctly intense effects. Opioids can be derived from both natural and synthetic sources.
Many people use the terms “opioids” and “opiates” interchangeably. Nevertheless, “opioids” once referred to synthetic opiates only. Today, opioids include both natural and synthetic opiates.
- Natural opioids: heroine, morphine, opium
- Semi-synthetic opioids: oxycodone, hydrocodone
- Synthetic opioids: methadone, fentanyl
Generally, opioids are classed as narcotics and prescribed as pain-killers in the healthcare industry. Doctors often recommend opioids for moderate and severe pain. Unfortunately, opioids are highly addictive, as they generate powerful feelings of well-being every time they are taken.
Signs & Symptoms Of Opioid Addiction
Those who suffer from addictive disorders rarely abuse opioids on purpose. Instead, chronic health problems prompt them to become increasingly dependent on painkillers.
Take for example, fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. Many doctors prescribe fentanyl to patients suffering chronic pain. However, powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl come with some negative side effects. They include constipation, respiratory depression, and extreme drowsiness. Today, fentanyl-involved overdose deaths surpass those from heroin.
A particularly disturbing trend is the sale of heroin or cocaine laced with fentanyl. In fact, fentanyl’s potency and inexpensive cost makes it an attractive drug to combine with pricier opioids.
Many of those struggling with an opioid addiction never ask for help. They don’t see dependence as a problem, especially if their medication has been prescribed by a doctor.
It’s equally important to remember that repeated drug use can also decrease a person’s resolve to quit. So, how can you help? First, familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of opioid addiction.
Do you recognize any of these signs and symptoms in your loved one or friend?
- Unsuccessful attempts to decrease the usage of prescription opioids
- Increased ingestion of prescription medication, due to built-up tolerance for the drug
Mood And Physical Symptoms
- Decreased appetite and persistent sleeplessness
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Irritability, moodiness, and extreme anxiety
More Behavioral/ Social Symptoms
- unexplained absences from work, church, and family events.
- friendship with other users to meet deep-seated needs for acceptance.
- clear disregard for personal hygiene.
Faith-Based Residential Recovery Programs: A Solution To The Opioid Crisis
While the crisis is extensive in scope, there is hope for addicts and their families. Faith-based recovery programs offer critical support services that promote healing and recovery.
These programs specifically address the spiritual dimensions of addiction.
Many who suffer from addictive disorders often isolate themselves from God and others. Thus, a lack of connection to a higher power and a supportive community fuels a destructive pattern of addictive behaviors.
Faith-based recovery programs are effective for an important reason. They highlight the importance of spiritual wellness and healthy interpersonal relationships. In particular, these programs offer:
- A safe, accepting environment for anyone struggling with opioid addiction
- Mentoring programs that provide emotional, spiritual, and educational support
- Group counselling sessions that promote awareness, hope, and purpose
- Classes that highlight scriptural promises and focus on Christian principles
While detoxification is a crucial first step towards healing, recovery support services play an important role in preventing relapses. So, if your loved one is suffering now, don’t wait. Get access to important resources and the help of a solid support network today.